For the Betterment of Women By Rao Chalasani

Sakhi for South Asian Women is a charitable organization in the NY metropolitan area that helps women dealing with domestic abuse in the South Asian community. Founded in 1989, Sakhi’s mission is to offer information, family support services, and legal assistance to those in need. The organization mobilizes the South Asian community and all people in the New Jersey and New York area in order to identify and condemn the abusers and underlying problems that lead to domestic abuse.

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund (SCEEF) was created in collaboration with Sakhi to provide scholarships to women who are struggling economically and socially. Since 2003, the SCEEF has disbursed thousands of dollars in grants and scholarships to qualified candidates for continuing education and vocational training.

About the Author

Rao Chalasani is a senior technology executive at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. He founded the SCEEF in honor of his late sister Swarna, who perished in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.


An Overview of the Foreign Exchange Market By Rao Chalasani

The foreign exchange market (also called FX or forex) is the financial home of currency trades. Participants in the foreign exchange market invest in money, betting that the value of one currency will rise or fall relative to another. As with commodities markets, investors in the foreign exchange market have the option of putting money into futures contracts, which are contracts based on the future value of a given currency. Investment in foreign exchange markets is popular among banks, hedge funds, retail brokers, investment firms, and other players with large amounts of capital.

The market structure that exists today evolved as the world’s nations left the gold standard following expensive 20th-century wars. In 1976, the International Monetary Fund finalized the move away from gold and initiated the system we have today, in which the value of currencies are determined relative to one another.

About Rao Chalasani: During the late 1990s, Rao Chalasani provided support and implementation for foreign exchange training at a bank in New York, NY. Since then, Chalasani has held positions at Merrill Lynch, Bank of America (BOFA), and Deutschebank. He lives in New Jersey.

“Overview of Childreach International USA” by Rao Chalasani

A non-profit organization committed to helping children achieve their full potential, Childreach International USA operates on a global level, supporting community-based, sustainable projects. Past projects have included the Khaday Primary School, where Childreach renovated and constructed portions of a schoolhouse in order to prevent overcrowding, and the Mahida Vocation Training Center, where a maize-milling machine was installed and kitchen and classroom facilities were renovated.

Childreach chooses its projects based on the referrals of local community and government leaders. In each case, a Childreach representative visits and evaluates the referred site. Once high-priority sites have been identified, Childreach begins to coordinate the project, utilizing local laborers and other members of the community. In this way, Childreach seeks to empower local communities and help them to continue to grow under their own initiative.

About Mr. Chalasani: Rao Chalasani is a proud sponsor of Childreach International USA and a selection of other charitable organizations.

The History of the Bicycle

By Rao Chalasani

Many credit Baron von Drais as the grandfather of the bicycle. In 1817, he introduced a two-wheeled, wood-framed and wood-wheeled “hobby horse” that required people to propel it with their feet. Featuring a steerable front wheel but no pedals, this device was considered a fad and could only be used on well-paved paths and in gardens.

Nearly 50 years later, the velocipede came out. Featuring pedals attached to the front wheel, it was dubbed the “boneshaker” due to its constant rattling on cobblestone streets. Subsequently, the high wheel bicycle was introduced. Unlike its two predecessors, this was made entirely of metal and provided a greater range of movement. Dangerous to operate, it was prone to falling in the face of the slightest obstacle. By the end of the 19th century, bikes had begun to adopt the form popular today, due to the introduction of the pneumatic tire and the chain-and-sprocket design.

About the Author:

A New York City-based financial executive, Rao Chalasani has served businesses including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corporation, SunGard Data Systems Inc., and Deutsche Bank AG. Chalasani counts cycling among his hobbies.

Rao Chalasani Discusses Recent Developments with Bank of America Corporation

Based out of New York City and featuring chapters in 150 countries, Bank of America Corporation (BofA) caters to millions of individuals and small businesses. One of the world’s leading financial institutions, BofA has recently undertaken several new initiatives.

In July 2012, BofA bought Kenwood Towne Place in Cincinnati for $27.5 million during a foreclosure sale. The property has caused significant controversy in the city, as contractors left it half-finished four years ago. This purchase will enable work on the large retail outlet and office complex to resume.

Also in July 2012, aware of the difficulties people are facing due to the recession, BofA conducted a foreclosure clinic on Long Island. At the Long Island Marriott, representatives from the bank spent three days teaching attendees about mortgage modification.

About Rao Chalasani:

A former executive with Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., and Deutsche Bank AG, Chalasani acted as BofA Merrill Lynch’s Chief Technology Officer and Risk Strategist for Global Markets Trading Risk Management.

The History of Bank of America Corporation By Rao Chalasani

With branches across the world and headquarters in New York City, Bank of America Corporation offers numerous financial services to individuals and businesses while aiding various communities. Serving over 57 million clients, Bank of America originated more than 220 years ago.

The financial institution traces its roots to 1784, with the chartering of the Massachusetts Bank. However, it took until the 20th century for Bank of America to become the conglomerate it is today. Some credit the 1920 merging of the San Francisco-based Bank of Italy and the Los Angeles-based Bank of America into BankAmerica as the start of this process. Others go forward several decades, to when North Carolina National Bank purchased several thousand banks across the nation and combined them into a single entity. Regardless, Bank of America remains proud of its history and operates six Heritage Centers throughout the country.

About the Author:

A financial executive for nearly two decades, Rao Chalasani has served with firms such as JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.; and Deutsche Bank AG. Chalasani also functioned as Chief Technology Officer and Risk Strategist Director for the Global Markets Trading Risk Management division of Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

The Role of a Risk Manager in Finance By Rao Chalasani

The digital nature of banking and investment transactions today means that risk managers (or risk strategists, as they are sometimes called) must possess fluency in technological systems that facilitate investment and trading. In addition to managing financial risk, a risk manager must identify and account for potential systemic threats. In other words, risk management involves a determination as to the risk level of certain loans and trades, as well as an analysis of potentially risky online and offline systems that allow those loans and trades to go through.

When working in international markets, the role of a risk manager becomes even more complex, as factors such as political instability, inflation, currency fluctuation, famine, and drought enter the picture and influence the viability of various financial transactions. Juggling these risks requires sound and far-reaching knowledge. Technological advances mean that risk managers may depend upon software to help them, but human instinct will likely always be a big part of the job.

About Rao Chalasani: A former Chief Financial Officer and Risk Strategist for Merrill Lynch and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Rao Chalasani has focused on global markets and credit, real estate, and structured products. Rao Chalasani is the sole designer and creator of the scalable “Enterprise Risk Management System,” for which a patent is pending.